Buddah Desmond to be Featured in L4I’s Virtual Art Healing Speaker Series + Exhibit

I’m so grateful to be a featured artist for Love 4 Immigrants’ (L4I) Virtual Art Healing Speaker Series & Exhibit on Sunday, 7/26/2020. It’s L4I’s first virtual and collaborative event.

Through this engaging online experience we intend to take the audience on a journey through the stories, art work and lives of immigrants artists, ally artists, International artists and mental health experts/Healers, these artists have commonly used art as a tool for healing and processing difficult emotions. ~ Love 4 Immigrants

Pre-recorded profiles and interviews of artists, mental health experts, and healers will be available to view the day of the event.

To register for the event, go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/love-4-immigrants-art-healing-virtual-speaker-series-exhibit-tickets-113687095162. Hope you can attend!

Much gratitude to Love 4 Immigrants for this opportunity!

~ Buddah Desmond

New Book, From The Inside: A Poetry Collection, Out Now!

I’m happy to announce my new book, From The Inside Out: A Poetry Collection, is out now! After sitting on this project for a few years, I finally decided to get over myself and hit the button.

About The Book

From The Inside Out: A Poetry Collection examines the power of love and its impact on our lives. When combined with action, commitment, faith, hope, persistence, and pride, love can transform our relationships, our communities, our world, and each of us. We can find “Glory” when we “lose [ourselves] in the beauty and wonder of life and love.”

As these poems illustrate, this journey may require a little work, a little discovery, and some growing pains…. For love is an inside job. And we love from the inside out.

From The Inside Out is available for purchase at Amazon. Tell a friend, then another friend, and then another friend.

Much gratitude for your support. Peace, Love, and Many Blessings!

Prevail: Happy 7th Anniversary!

I cannot believe it’s been 7 years since the release of my first project, Prevail: Poems on Life, Love, and Politics. It’s arrival marked one of the brightest and darkest periods of my life.

Two weeks prior to its release, I found myself jobless. A total WTF moment that sent me reeling… Spiraling down. I was singing a tune that was akin to the jazz standard “Good Morning Heartache,” except in this case it was “Good Morning / Good Afternoon / Good Night Depression, Anxiety, Shame, Low Self-Esteem, and Lack of Confidence.” It took awhile to grow through it. While I didn’t realize it immediately, it proved to be a blessing in disguise.

This reality check gave me the chance to do things I always wanted to do. Publish my work. Write, write, and write some more. Perform. Connect and work with other artists, creatives, and organizations committed to the arts and social justice. Complete my MBA. I did what I had to do. About a year or so later, the landscape had changed. My outlook was much brighter.

Life is a trip. At times, you may feel ill equipped for the journey. You may even hate certain portions of the journey. But it’s necessary. It lays the foundation for what’s too come. As I say, “No matter what happens in life, we must PREVAIL!“ Much love and gratitude to all who’ve been there with me and continue to support me throughout this journey. You are true blessings!

Prevail is available at Amazon (Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle) and Barnes & Noble.

Empowerment – The Fire Within (A 2013 Throwback)

The following piece was written back in 2013. While 4 years have passed, the underlying message is still quite relevant today.


As members of the LGBT community, it’s sad that we still live in a world that cannot see beyond our sexuality. How appalling is it that the masses fail to realize our worth or accept us wholly and completely? When faced with hatred, discrimination, and stereotypical imagery in media and entertainment, we can’t help but feel a bit of shame, guilt, and anger. So many misconceptions and stigmas continue to cloud judgment, perception, and understanding. But for what? Our sexuality is one of so many parts of who we are. While it doesn’t define us, we can’t ignore it. And it’s obvious that public officials, conservatives, and organizations (that shall remain nameless) are obsessed with our sexuality more than we are.

Did the powers that be, holy rollers, and haters forget that we’re human too? We desire, no, we deserve the same things as our heterosexual brothers and sisters – family, friends, love, happiness, success on our own terms, good health… I could go on, as the list is endless. But you wouldn’t know this reading or viewing some of the media and entertainment created daily. How hypocritical can a society be that prides itself on freedom, but shames, victimizes, vilifies, and silences those who don’t fit the preferred, traditional archetype? We’re well past the time to lift the veil on the alienation and isolation that comes as a result of living in such a heteronormative society. But let us not be defeated.

Validation from the outside world may not come in the time, manner, or fashion we desire it to. However, we shouldn’t let it hinder us from living or having what we want in this life. No matter what the outside world says we must remain steadfast in knowing ourselves and trusting what we believe in. No matter what the world says, we are beautiful in every way. We are not less than. We are warriors.

Sometimes we have to forego or question everything we’ve been taught or led to believe as truth to find out who we really are. There’s so much that we deny ourselves when we feed into to the B.S. aimed at refuting our existence. We have to shut ourselves off from the noise and the hysteria to make way for what’s real – to make way for peace, serenity, and truth. When we’re able to free ourselves individually and collectively – the change we see within and around us will be miraculous.

As Audre Lorde said, “Life is very short and what we have to do must be done in the now.” We cannot wait. While we should celebrate the recent Supreme Court rulings in the DOMA and Prop 8 cases for being a step in the right direction for gay marriage, the movement doesn’t stop there. These rulings should only intensify our fight for justice, equality, and freedom for all. And everything we need for this fight lies within.

The key to finding what’s within, the power within, is loving ourselves. We talk a good game about loving ourselves, but how many of us actually do? How many of us can say we truly love ourselves? It’s impossible for us to love ourselves if we continue to allow internalized hatred to ruin our progress. It’s impossible for us to love ourselves if we continue to tolerate the abuse, ill-treatment, and foolishness we encounter daily.

We must not let fear run our authentic selves away. We must be brazen. Stand up for those who were/are not able to stand up for themselves. Realize that in doing so, we’re empowering ourselves and challenging everyone to (always) strive to be and do better.

When we find the love within, the power is never too far behind. When we find our power… When we realize our power… When we utilize our power, its intensity will inspire action and breed the change we need in our families, communities, and the world.

Ours is a power that not only changes lives, but also saves lives. As James Baldwin said, “The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in.” So let’s find our power and wield it lovingly, strongly, boldly, and unapologetically. It’s our world. Now let the power within—that internal fire—lead the way!

Inspired 2 Be

Courtesy of The Root & Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

Courtesy of The Root & Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

Those who’ve come b4 me have left me
Inspired 2 be
Just like, just as great, and better
I’m inspired 2 be
By those who’ve raised me
Those who fought 4 me
By those who stand by me
By those who set the example
I’m inspired 2 be
Because a way has been paved 4 me
A way that may not have been
If our ancestors did not fight
2 make a better day
A better nation
A better world
A better way of living
So that we could be free
I’m inspired 2 be the best
I’m inspired 2 be the greatest
I’m inspired 2 be
10 times better than
what the masses expect me 2 be
because I have the blood of gods,
kings, queens, soldiers, warriors, pharaohs,
leaders, activists, slaves,
fighters, mothers and fathers
flowing through me
I have a legacy to live up 2
and people, spirits and most of all, myself
that I cannot let down
There4, I’ve been
Inspired 2 be

© BuddahDesmond

Black Magic

Image courtesy of http://beautifulbrownies.tumblr.com/

Image courtesy of http://beautifulbrownies.tumblr.com/

Blackness in full view
Open and vast
Varied and rich
Not hidden in the cloak of
your lies and shame
Blackness doesn’t need your acceptance
or validation
It just is
As it is
And my, what our blackness is!
Full-bodied power
A vivid cultural mosaic
Intricately woven
Connecting our past, present, and future.

My experiences are too often judged, rarely understood
If I let you tell it –
my story simply wouldn’t be
My existence – my truth –
buried, annihilated
At the other extreme, you’ve tried to tell
my story as if you know me better
than I know myself
Praise to the gods that there never is and there never will be
a substitute for the real thing.

My story – our story –
more hype than virtual reality
Afro-futuristic dreams—
we live them every day
Casting spells before you
can comprehend
#blackgirlmagic
#blackboymagic
Rocking it like no other before, during
or after.

Forever an enigma
Keep ‘em guessing, as Mom always says
And just when they think they’ve figured
you out – flip that shit!

My blackness is unapologetic
Will not turn down
for your comfort
It’s everlasting
Just like the storied journey passed down
from my ancestors
Label it haughty or narcissistic
It’s simply self-love
Black love and BLACK PRIDE.

The strength and resilience
of my blackness is unbreakable
as the blood I share with my brothas and sistas
Forever catching our fires like Sonia
Yielding the fire within
Bringing beauty and beyond to the world
And making history every day
Now, that’s BLACK MAGIC!

© 2016 BuddahDesmond

Reborn: A Poem

Sadly, today’s the last day of National Poetry Month. I thought I would share a new piece I wrote a few days ago. I know I’ve been missing in action for much of the last few months. Between entering into a Nutrition and Integrative Health Master’s program and starting a new job, I’ve had more than enough to keep me preoccupied. I promise I’ll be back to posting regularly very soon.

Though National Poetry Month is ending, the celebration of poetry doesn’t have to end. Poetry is the language of the people. Even if you’re not an avid poetry reader, I’m sure you’ll find a poem or two that will resonate with you. Given the state of today’s world, poetry can offer us hope, solace and perspective. Poetry ignites the fire within. In the words of Sonia Sanchez, “Catch the fire…and live.”

Reborn

You fall back–
thinking you’ve got broken wings.
They’re only broken if you empower mistakes
and pain from the past to rob you of future’s joy.
You’ll never make it off the ground
running from your history.
Run into it for understanding.
Revisit for healing.
Conquer the aches, soothe the wounds
so you can be one with your spirit
and true destiny.
The internal battle will cease.
Like morning on a crisp spring day–
you’ll be reborn.

“Exotic Shifter,” a Chapbook, is Out Now!

exoticshift_samplecover(adjusted_2)

I’m happy to announce that my latest project Exotic Shifter is available for purchase! Published through 2 Pens & Lint, this chapbook features 20 poems primarily about love and relationships.

As described in a previous post, “Love changes things… Well, love changes everything. It’s impossible that we go through life loving anything or anyone (ourselves, others, our communities) without being changed. The poems featured in Exotic Shifter examine the transformative power of love (and/or how we can be transformed once we learn to love ourselves and others better).”

Exotic Shifter serves as a prelude to my next full-length volume, which is tentatively titled From the Inside Out. This project will take an even deeper look at love and relationships. I’m pushing to release this project in late 2015/early 2016.

Exotic Shifter can be purchased through the 2 Pens & Lint website on the BuddahDesmond author page. The chapbook is $5.

If you like/love Exotic Shifter, please tell a friend or two (or three or four) about it. And if you have feedback, please feel free to share it with me!

Thank you for your support. Peace, Love, and Many Blessings!

“Exotic Shifter,” My New Chapbook, Coming Soon

BuddahDesmond_ExoticShifter_SampleCover
Good news: my latest project entitled, Exotic Shifter, will be available soon! In a previous post, I mentioned that I’d been working on two new projects. The first being a chapbook, Exotic Shifter, and the second being my next full-length volume of poetry (with a tentative release date some time in late 2015/early 2016). Well, we’re in the final stages of the editing process and the chapbook will be heading to the printer any day now.

Exotic Shifter is primarily about love and relationships. As my grandmother says, “Love is a metamorphosis.” Love changes things… Well, love changes everything. It’s impossible that we go through life loving anything or anyone (ourselves, others, our communities) without being changed. The poems featured in Exotic Shifter examine the transformative power of love (and/or how we can be transformed once we learn to love ourselves and others better).

Exotic Shifter will be published by 2 Pens & Lint, whose tagline is, “A New Direction In Poetry.” As their website states, “2 Pens & Lint strives to create an atmosphere where poets can build and maintain financial stability through the art of poetry while simultaneously using their poetry as a catalyst for change in their communities and broader society.”

2 Pens & Lint is a company that is completely supportive of the art of poetry and ensuring that poets have the resources they need to continue enhancing their artistry, their platform, and their business (which in essence will impact their communities and the world). This is why I decided to pursue publishing my chapbook with 2 Pens & Lint.

Exotic Shifter will be available for sale on the 2 Pens & Lint website and from me at upcoming events. Stay tuned for more details!

As always, I thank you kindly for your continued support. Much Love!

Exotic Shifter Cover Illustration: Patricia Swann (my grandmother, who also created the cover illustration for Prevail)

Buddah’s Musings

freedom_by_find_myself_forever(2)Image courtesy of heatherfromthegrove.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a “Buddah’s Musings” post.  Here are five musings that have been heavy on my mind lately:

  1. Let go of that which you have no power to change. You’ll save yourself from a lot of unwanted, unneeded stress.
  2. Be an original. We have enough carbon copies running around as it is. Don’t add to the noise. Be the innovator you were born to be.
  3. We’re quick to talk about the importance of respect. But why is respecting ourselves so often a forgotten necessity? When you can respect yourself, you can respect others and command/demand it in return.
  4. Don’t allow others to railroad or reroute your dreams without your consent. If you have a vision for your journey, a passion or calling that you must heed, stick with it. Be true to it. Endure the many challenges that come your way, for they are preparing you for the blessings that will soon follow.
  5. You are not your thoughts.  The sooner you realize this the freedom to simply be will abound.  As Michael Singer, author of The Untethered Soul, says, “The day that you decide you are more interested in being aware of your thoughts than you are in the thoughts themselves — that is the day you will find your way out.”

Until next time… Peace, love, and many blessings! ~ BuddahDesmond